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Macy's begins pilot test of Apple's iBeacon in flagship New York, San Francisco stores

post #1 of 81
Thread Starter 
One of America's oldest retailers is among the first to deploy Apple's iBeacons as Macy's has begun a pilot program with the state-of-the-art Bluetooth-based microlocation system.

shopBeacon


The 155-year-old department store chain has partnered with Redwood City, Calif.-based Shopkick to install iBeacons transmitters --?called shopBeacons --?throughout the chain's flagship Midtown Manhattan and San Francisco locations, reports GigaOm. Shopkick's technology will allow Macy's to track shoppers' movements throughout the stores, serving up different offers based on the floor or department the customer is in.

In addition to one-off location-based alerts, Shopkick and Macy's are using the shopBeacons technology to tie customers' at-home shopping with their in-store visits. "If [a customer] "likes" a specific product in the app, shopBeacon can remind her when she enters the store that sells it," according to Shopkick.

Shopkick says the shopBeacon hardware, which is encased in a palm-sized enclosure with a rounded dome, can run for up to five years on a single battery. Once the Macy's trial is complete, Shopkick will begin rolling the product out to their other retail partners, with each shopBeacon sporting a price tag of around $40.



Other major non-retail organizations have also embraced iBeacons. In September, Major League Baseball announced plans to use iBeacons to enhance fans' experience in the ballpark, demonstrating their long-term goal with a pilot installation at the New York Mets' Citi Field.

Apple quietly introduced iBeacons alongside iOS 7 at July's Worldwide Developers Conference, and the Bluetooth Low Energy-based technology was quickly recognized for its potential to revolutionize location services with its low power requirements and ability to precisely pinpoint users' locations inside buildings. Many believe it could form the basis of a new iTunes-powered mobile payments system, similar to what Google has attempted to create with the NFC-based Google Wallet.
post #2 of 81

sweet.

post #3 of 81
1) Spooky, being tracked in a store

2) Can't wait for Dick to show us his implementation

3) I like Burberry, where they show additional colours of a dress in the mirror when the woman tries it out in the fitting room
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post #4 of 81

This would be great at Home Depot.  I can never find the AC filters.

 

From the video Phobe must have really small hands. I thought see was using a Samdung at first.

post #5 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

This would be great at Home Depot.  I can never find the AC filters

Absolutely! Or how about at the grocery store. It scans your shopping list and plans out your route and alerts you when you have reached the item. It keeps a running total $ as you go.

 

I would hope that it is an opt in type of service. Or I guess I mean you can shut it down when you don't want to be targeted or tracked while shopping. I am cool with it as long as I have full control of MANY privacy settings. 

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post #6 of 81
Does Apple make these? If so, where do they sell them?
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post #7 of 81
Walking around a store looking at my phone strikes me as a bad experience. Either use an app like Amazon to buy stuff online or walk into a store and open your eyes.
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post #8 of 81
Originally Posted by techno View Post
Or how about at the grocery store.

 

Ooh, grocery stores will never do this. They’re designed to get you as lost as possible so you’ll buy more. They put the highest traffic items in the back so you’re forced to walk past everything else and go, “Say, mesquite flavor potato chips… What is mesquite? Maybe it’s made from mosquitoes…” No clocks, no windows, no easily accessible exits, and they rotate shelf content roughly once a month to keep people searching.

 

It works on idiots, at least.

 

I would hope that it is an opt in type of service. Or I guess I mean you can shut it down when you don't want to be targeted or tracked while shopping. I am cool with it as long as I have full control of MANY privacy settings. 

 

Bingo.

 

Originally Posted by Ireland View Post
Walking around a store looking at my phone strikes me as a bad experience.
 

So why not have audio alerts from your pocket? Either a preset tone or have Siri speak it to you. “Hey, you just passed the milk. Get 1% this time, fatty.”

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #9 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Walking around a store looking at my phone strikes me as a bad experience. Either use an app like Amazon to buy stuff online or walk into a store and open your eyes.

 

Wrong. I do it already with a shopping list app and its great.

post #10 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Ooh, grocery stores will never do this. They’re designed to get you as lost as possible so you’ll buy more. They put the highest traffic items in the back so you’re forced to walk past everything else and go, “Say, mesquite flavor potato chips… What is mesquite? Maybe it’s made from mosquitoes…” No clocks, no windows, no easily accessible exits, and they rotate shelf content roughly once a month to keep people searching.

 

 

Competition will force change.  Look what Costco/Amazon has done.  Once a big grocery store adapts this everyone else will have to or face the consequences of being behind

post #11 of 81

Minority Report is coming true.

post #12 of 81
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

Competition will force change.  Look what Costco/Amazon has done.  Once a big grocery store adapts this everyone else will have to or face the consequences of being behind

 

Gosh, I’d hope so. 

 

I wrote a post a year or two back about how Apple could completely reinvent the entire concept of a store from front end to back and the supply chain in between, not to mention also reinventing and streamlining R&D for products themselves. I’ll never find it again, and I can’t remember what I said, but my thoughts on the matter haven’t changed since. Apple needs to do this. They’re the only company that has the power to get people to actually use such a system.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #13 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Gosh, I’d hope so. 

 

I wrote a post a year or two back about how Apple could completely reinvent the entire concept of a store from front end to back and the supply chain in between, not to mention also reinventing and streamlining R&D for products themselves. I’ll never find it again, and I can’t remember what I said, but my thoughts on the matter haven’t changed since. Apple needs to do this. They’re the only company that has the power to get people to actually use such a system.

 

Rome wasn't built in a day.  We need these small steps first before you grand plan can be a reality.

post #14 of 81
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

Rome wasn't built in a day.  We need these small steps first before you grand plan can be a reality.

 

I’m not contesting that. I think iBeacon will shape up to be a widely used service.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #15 of 81
well crap. like others, i'm hoping that it will be used to help me find what i'm looking for. but instead, right out of the gate, it's being used to track me and market to me. no thanks.
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post #16 of 81
Retail is dead. I will never go into a Macy's ever again. I was treated like crap last time I was in one. Buy everything I can online. Free ship, and in many cases, no tax.

I would buy groceries online as well, but it is actually easier and faster to plan a week's menu on paper, then zip to the store I've been using for 10 years. I know where everything is, and at a glance can compare sale items. Oddly enough, that's the one application that doesn't match online, but fairly, only because I am so familair with the store and products.

Bold prediction: retail in America will be a niche/ oddity in 50 years. Kinda like landlines and fax machines. They have a place, but only narrow applications.
post #17 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

I’m not contesting that. I think iBeacon will shape up to be a widely used service.

 

sorry, i misread your post

post #18 of 81

What, it's not in JC Penny's first?

post #19 of 81
Soon, money strapped police dept will issue tickets on shopping with the usage of an electronic device
post #20 of 81

I'm surprised Macy's didn't get them in red and star shaped.  Branding.

 

Personally, I'd like a bit more 'concierge' service.  If you are beaconing, I'd want a sales associate come right up to me and 'take over' and have an iPad with my previous purchases (sizes.... I never remember my wife's size in Jones New York vs INC.), my wish list, and most importantly, INVENTORY.  My famous question of "Do you have this in 'nnn' size makes every Macy's employee cringe (by first appearances I'm quite proportional... so much so that people think I'm 40lbs lighter than what I am... that 17 1/2 37sleeve Xtra Tall torso Athletic Cut shirt is quite rare in the wild).   Waiting until the come from the back room is so aggravating.

post #21 of 81
I'll be interested in seeing the comments from iPhone users who dislike data mining/tracking when they first make the connection between something they looked for on-line somewhere being advertised to them while in a Macy's store over Apple's iBeacon. That may be the moment a light bulb comes on.
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post #22 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I'll be interested in seeing the comments from iPhone users who dislike data mining/tracking when they first make the connection between something they looked for on-line somewhere being advertised to them while in a Macy's store over Apple's iBeacon. That may be the moment a light bulb comes on.

Yes, that's when they'll say Google really missed out on an opportunity. Buy AAPL!

post #23 of 81
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Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

Yes, that's when they'll say Google really missed out on an opportunity. Buy AAPL!

Sorry, but Google is also jumping on the Beacon bandwagon as is every other big retailer, advertiser and data tracking company. iBeacons is just Apple's implementation. BLE-enabled Android and Windows phones will be tracked just as surely as iPhones, and all of them on a much more personal and identifiable level than we probably want possible if we stopped to think about it.

Remember when cookie's were considered an offensive and intrusive tracking tool? We'll end up longing for the days when we thought those were our worst privacy concern.
Edited by Gatorguy - 11/20/13 at 11:51am
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post #24 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Sorry, but Google is also jumping on the Beacon bandwagon.

Sorry, but this isn't nearly as creepy as Goople. At least for the time being, it requires Shopkicks to be installed... and what do users who install the app expect? Where is Googol anyway?

I know... Gargle is going to be in JC Pennys.

post #25 of 81

I'd kill for this in museums. NYC's AMNH has a try at it, a good first effort but so early days.

 

http://www.amnh.org/apps/explorer

 

Actually reading the current description it's been substantially upgraded since I last used it.


Edited by jfc1138 - 11/20/13 at 12:01pm
post #26 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

 

Competition will force change.  Look what Costco/Amazon has done.  Once a big grocery store adapts this everyone else will have to or face the consequences of being behind

 

Costco stores are also an all-day shopping experience. They move things around often enough to force you to do a complete walkthrough every time you go.

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GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #27 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


Sorry, but Google is also jumping on the Beacon bandwagon.

 

Link?

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #28 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by eightzero View Post

Retail is dead. I will never go into a Macy's ever again. I was treated like crap last time I was in one. Buy everything I can online. Free ship, and in many cases, no tax.

I would buy groceries online as well, but it is actually easier and faster to plan a week's menu on paper, then zip to the store I've been using for 10 years. I know where everything is, and at a glance can compare sale items. Oddly enough, that's the one application that doesn't match online, but fairly, only because I am so familair with the store and products.

Bold prediction: retail in America will be a niche/ oddity in 50 years. Kinda like landlines and fax machines. They have a place, but only narrow applications.

I doubt that.  Retail is and will be alive and well... it will 'cloudily'  (e.g. Amazon)... But that's no different than what Macy's was 100 years ago... One hundred little shops inside one big one.

 

I see the next tick of groceries is 'concierge shopping'   You make your menu/list on your home device.... upload it to the store, and  what's on your list is bagged and in cool/room/warm storage and waiting for you at your estimated time of arrival.

 

Why... If you don't have shoppers in your store, you can make your store smaller and more efficient (think automation... conveyors with most goods in drop chute bins... "2 dozen free range eggs... bombs away!").  You eliminate the position of 'stocker' and effectively it's a QA and 'specialty picker.' and bagger/curbside delivery.  Cart is weighed at each step and at the end for QA.   You can still walk up to the counter and place your order (think carryout pizza), and they will pick it and give it to you.  

 

If you don't think this will happen, Amazon Grocery Delivery will change your mind;-) (Fresh.amazon.com).   If amazon is thinking of it, then someone like Walmart can do it now, although I think it will have to be a disruptive new force to do it 

 

Again, this was what shopping for food was 100 years ago...  but the counter became the choke point, as well corporate marketing demanding consumer exposure to the 'brand' (100 years ago, you bought 'green peas'   now you got 'green giant','birdseye','seneca','Libby's', pic'n'fresh, krogers, etc. etc. etc).

post #29 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Link?

Of course.
http://www.getelastic.com/beacons-and-the-age-of-micro-location-context/
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post #30 of 81

Google beacon is going to be in kiosks all across Asia. As you walk buy a sidewalk vendor, you'll be notified of the opportunity to buy an Android video stick (nee Tablet) loaded with more Bruce Willis movies, using the fact that you downloaded Die Hard 2 the night before.

post #31 of 81
Phoebe definitely alerted my One-i'ed-Beacon.
Edited by akqies - 11/20/13 at 12:15pm
post #32 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

This would be great at Home Depot.  I can never find the AC filters.

Aisle 13

Quote:
From the video Phobe must have really small hands. I thought see was using a Samdung at first.
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post #33 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post

well crap. like others, i'm hoping that it will be used to help me find what i'm looking for. but instead, right out of the gate, it's being used to track me and market to me. no thanks.

 

That logic I'll never understand.

 

First of all, it's not "tracking" you, it's just aware of when you enter a specific area. Second, it has to know this information if you want it to help you find something.

 

Furthermore...

1. You're in the store shopping, probably planning to purchase something.

2. You've installed the store's app on your mobile device.

3. You've opted in to allow the app access to your location data.

4. You've made lists of things you like/want.

 

If you're willing to do ALL of that, what the hell else is the store supposed to think you want? 

Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #34 of 81
I think its only a matter of time before grocery and hardware stores, etc. implement this. There's an opportunity for those companies who are lagging behind those in their industry to attract customers to their store. It also depends on their approach to using iBeacons. I would want their primary focus to show me how I can find what I am looking for so I can get in and out of your store as quickly as possible and you might win my business going forward. Depends of course on how you value convenience vs. price.

On the flip side, I'll be concerned about bluetooth hacks trying to access my phone. There will be trade-offs for just about anything.
post #35 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


Sorry, but Google is also jumping on the Beacon bandwagon as is every other big retailer, advertiser and data tracking company. iBeacons is just Apple's implementation. BLE-enabled Android and Windows phones will be tracked just as surely as iPhones, and all of them on a much more personal and identifiable level than we probably want possible if we stopped to think about it.

Remember when cookie's were considered an offensive and intrusive tracking tool? We'll end up longing for the days when we thought those were our worst privacy concern.

 

The problem with Google is they are working with retailers to implement this at the OS level - meaning you could potentially be flamed with "ads" whether you've installed a specific app or not. Furthermore, Google, as they do with all other data, will use it to gather this "beacon" information so they can target ads at users.

Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #36 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post
 

 

That logic I'll never understand.

 

First of all, it's not "tracking" you, it's just aware of when you enter a specific area. Second, it has to know this information if you want it to help you find something.

 

Furthermore...

1. You're in the store shopping, probably planning to purchase something.

2. You've installed the store's app on your mobile device.

3. You've opted in to allow the app access to your location data.

4. You've made lists of things you like/want.

 

If you're willing to do ALL of that, what the hell else is the store supposed to think you want? 


Very true.  The customer has to essentially "opt-in" to all this so it's not like there is something nefarious going on here.


I also think there's a lot of hypocrisy going on here as everyone likes the information being mined, yet they turn around and scream "privacy" when it involves them.

Case in point... I live in the San Francisco bay area.  We use an electronic toll system called Fastrak.  Essentially it means that we don't have to stop to pay tolls at the bridges.  Those little transmitters we stick to our windshields and dashboards are also used to feed into a system to provide real-time traffic conditions on all our roads here.  That same data that everyone uses to check traffic on their maps programs.  Lots of us use it.  We don't really think twice about "the Man" using the info to track where I am at any one point in time.

I really think that if an individual whines about data collection practices like this, they should be banned from using any kind of publicly-gathered data since that feeds into their hysteria.

I like the iBeacon concept.  It's inevitable I think.

post #37 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

So why not have audio alerts from your pocket? Either a preset tone or have Siri speak it to you. “Hey, you just passed the milk. Get 1% this time, fatty.”

 

Funny. Not that fat actually makes you fat, but that's another topic.

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post #38 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

Wrong. I do it already with a shopping list app and its great.

 

'Wrong'. I love your overconfident proclamations.

 

A shopping list is one thing, but this is the store talking over your screen, that can't go well. Apple doing it in an Apple store is one thing, but one of these other guys getting access to your information and attention like that strikes me as something entirely different - in a bad way.

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post #39 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post
 

Minority Report is coming true.

 

This comes true if you install their shitty app. Otherwise they'll have to leave you alone or you'll (well me) can take your business somewhere that won't hassle you. This end up being the new 'as soon as I enter the store someone pounces on me'.

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post #40 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

The problem with Google is they are working with retailers to implement this at the OS level - meaning you could potentially be flamed with "ads" whether you've installed a specific app or not. Furthermore, Google, as they do with all other data, will use it to gather this "beacon" information so they can target ads at users.

Of course they will. No one would expect any different. The retailers using beacons along with their partner advertisers/data aggregators/data analyzers will be doing the same thing. Even Apple.

This is all about discovering more precise information about you specifically and personally in order to get deeper into your pockets. Who you are, where you are, where you've been, what you were doing, what you've eaten, what you've bought, and where you're probably going next.

If you hate the relatively innocuous discovery that cookies offer....
Edited by Gatorguy - 11/20/13 at 1:09pm
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